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Maine’s community health centers need long-term funding

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As the U.S. slowly opens back up, many Americans worry about whether our country’s health care system can support the spikes in coronavirus infections happening around the country. Thanks in large part to Maine’s rational approach to the pandemic, the number of COVID-19 cases in our state remains relatively stable.

Yet, we cannot overlook the toll that the pandemic has taken on our state’s economy and on our health and well-being. Loss of jobs and income is increasing mental, emotional and physical stress at a time when the ability to pay for medical care is decreasing. With Maine’s economy so heavily dependent on seasonal cycles of tourism and natural resources, we will feel the economic impacts of this pandemic for many long months to come.

The pandemic and subsequent economic fallout has underscored the importance of having access to quality health care regardless of income. Community health centers play a crucial role in the U.S. health care system by providing high-quality health care in underserved areas, from urban communities where few residents can afford private medical services to remote areas where hospitals and private medical facilities are miles away. Community health centers are more essential now than ever before.

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